So You Think You Pulled a Hammy! Now What…

You’re in the middle of a pick-up basketball game and feel a painful stab in your thigh. Maybe you’re working on your pace at an outdoor track and suddenly your leg hurts. Anxiety and pain in the back of your leg battle for your attention: I think I pulled a hammy. So what does it mean if you pull this large muscle in the leg? Is it a summer season-ender? And what should you do besides panic? We give you some pointers so if you think you’ve pulled your hammy, you know how to handle it and get back on your feet as soon as possible.

Your Hamstring

The hamstring is a group of three muscles running along the back of your leg. Without it, you’d have a hard time walking, running, or doing much of anything since it helps bend your leg at the knee! According to WebMD, when you strain your hamstring, it’s because one of these muscles in the group gets overloaded. You can pull, strain, and even tear your hamstring.


Straining or pulling your hamstring can occur in many different activities, but WebMD notes occurs most often with:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Sudden stops and starts
  • Exercising without warming up
  • Having weak glutes
  • Having tight quads

You may feel a pop, feel sudden pain, pulling, and experience swelling or bruising. Your pain may be mild or severe, and may be minimal enough to make walking uncomfortable – or unpleasant enough to make walking feel impossible.

At-Home Care

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may choose to try at-home treatment first. Stop your usual activities, rest, ice, and try OTC anti-inflammatory medication. You can also try an athletic wrap to compress the area. If your symptoms begin improving, don’t rush right back to your exercise routine and typical intensity. That’s why it’s helpful to…

See a Pro

Seeing a physical therapist can help you identify the likely cause of your hamstring injury; from form, to weak muscle groups, or tight muscles, or a combination of factors. Your PT will educate you on how to help heal your hammy and help prevent another injury. S/he will work with you to show you helpful stretches and exercises to help keep you loose and also strengthen any weak areas. Your physical therapist will also guide you on how and when to return to activity so you don’t risk re-injury.

Whether you’re dealing with a pulled hammy or any one of a ton of other issues, Body One Physical Therapy is ready to help! We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of dedicated, caring physical therapists works with clients of all ages and activity levels. Don’t accept pain and injury as a life sentence, call us today and let us help you live your best life!